Category Archives: Voices

Dr. Hutton Takes on Senior Sem

Apr 17, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

This semester I’m taking a senior seminar course as a junior. For biology majors, it is required to take a senior seminar, senior research, or a practicum in biology. So, I decided to get a jump on it and added the class to my schedule this semester.

The cool thing about the biology senior seminar is that the topic changes every semester! Two semesters ago it was focused on conservation biology and the class was so well received that they decided to make it an actual course, which I took (and literally loved) last semester. This semester the senior seminar is focused on urban ecology.

The first few weeks of class we went over various case studies and developed a working definition for what urban ecology means to us. Now we’re in the midst of planning a green initiative yard sale for the end of the semester (so people don’t have to throw away things at move out!)  Another aspect to the class now is that we have various guest speakers come in and talk to us about the different facets and multitudes to urban ecology.

This past week President Hutton came in to speak to our class. As all Utica College students, faculty, and staff are aware, our president is actively involved in many campus activities. He is also actively involved with the city of Utica. He is currently a member of the city board and gives input on various issues. (He has been a member of several city planning communities throughout the country!)

He also told our (enraptured) class about the various conservation efforts he and various other Utica College officials have taken to ensure our campus is staying up to date in the world of sustainability.

Did you know Utica College (along with the hospital) was the first school to produce its own energy? I had no clue! That building back behind Burrstone Hall is actually a microgrid that produces energy that is used by the hospital and our campus. During the day the micrgrid produces about 80% of our energy and the other 20% is supplemented from National Grid. At night, all of the energy being used on the campus is produced by the microgrid.

The campus is also looking into other sustainable options. Unfortunately full solar power for the campus is simply not a feasible option as of now. However, they are looking to put solar panels in above the pool in the athletic center so it can be heated that way! Little steps add up!

It was definitely a really cool experience to have the president of Utica College come in and talk to my senior seminar class. We’re only a class of 7, yet he still treated us as if we were a larger class. He asked us our opinions and seemed genuinely interested in our thoughts. I got to talk about my favorite issues, and felt like my opinions were actually being heard. It was probably my favorite class hour that I’ll ever have at Utica College! 11160059_1103963916285608_7854584658554039119_o

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Sleep is Essential

Apr 16, 2015 | Author: Jayson Bretton


As the weeks go by, the closer we are until the semester is over. Which means that it’s almost time for finals week! I know everybody is as excited as I am to know summertime is right around the corner. But before we can lay back and relax in the sun, we must make sure we are doing the things necessary to pass those finals. There is one thing in particular that will be essential for passing those finals besides the obvious, studying, and that is SLEEP! Many don’t understand how essential sleep is when it comes to day-to-day living. We underestimate how much our body truly demands. As human beings sleep is vital for survival, so without good sleep it becomes hard for people to concentrate and you can become ill.

The condition of not having enough sleep is well-known as sleep deprivation. This condition can have a major impact on the lives and actions of people among all ages. It’s understandable that we are in college and sometimes it’s hard to go to sleep but it’s very important that one makes sure to get 8 hours of sleep a night. It’s not easy to get back to normal sleeping habits because our body has to go through what is known as sleep debt. “Our bodies give us plenty of signals when we’re tired. But some of us are so used to being sleep deprived that we remain oblivious to how impaired we really are. Sleep debt isn’t something you can pay off in a weekend, researchers say—it can take weeks of building up restorative sleep habits” ( There are five signs for a person to know in order to find out if you are sleep deprived or not.

  1. Simple decisions stump you
  2. Your still hungry — after eating all day
  3. You keep coming down with coldsimage
  4. Weird things make you cry
  5. You’ve become a klutz

Those are some things ones should look out for when enough sleep is not something they are getting. Of coursethere are some reasons as to why people can’t sleep. In some cases people just can’t get enough sleep because of sleep disorders that they may have. Insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and even night terrors are all examples of some of those disorders. But as the clock is ticking and it’s coming down to finals everyone has to make sure to get the right amount of sleep that is needed in order to stay focused during those tests.

Please continue to read my blogs and don’t forget to follow me on my Twitter @Jayson_UC to get updates on upcoming events on campus.

Till next time,



Why I chose UC for Nursing

Apr 16, 2015 | Author: Grace Pfeifer

As many of you know from reading my previous blogs, or just know from knowing me in general, I am a Junior in the Nursing Program here at UC. I applied in Fall of 2011 and was accepted in November 2011. I started my freshman year in Fall of 2012.

I did not always know I wanted to be a nurse, in fact I didn’t even really think about it till my H.S. Biology teacher looked at me one day and told me that I’d make a really good nurse. From there I just kinda took her suggestion and ran with it. I had always had elderly grandparents so I was no stranger to hospitals, and I knew I wanted to be in a job where I was helping people, so what better career then to become a Nurse?

Finding out I wanted to be a Nurse was half the battle though, the other half was finding the right Nursing school. I had a lot of options, I could have gone the Nursing school route and graduated with my associates in two years, or I could look for a four year program attached to a University. Besides wanting my bachelors over an associates, I also really wanted the so called “college experience”. Therefore, it was a no brainer to look for four year schools with Nursing programs.

I found that there were many schools with Nursing programs but not all were created equal. The general theme that I kept coming away with every college I visited was, “Nursing is super Hard, You will have no life”. I mean literally, I was told over and over , program after program, how if you were a nursing student you could kiss any sports or extracurricular activities you loved goodbye.
I was really put off by this idea as I planned on continuing Cheerleading into college and participating in Theater club just like I always had in High School. I’m a person who likes doing things, so to be told that I’d have to give up the things I love for a career I would love, was very discouraging.

This was not the case when I visited UC. For accepted student day we were split up by major and had the opportunity to talk to the faculty and dean of the Nursing department. I was thrilled to find that UC’s program had a very different philosophy. They wanted the well rounded student. They wanted the student athlete to be able to also do the Nursing Program. Many of the teachers talked about their students and shared how many activities they were involved in. I still was told that Nursing would be a challenging program but at least I knew if I came here I wouldn’t have to stop doing the things I loved.

So, I went with UC and haven’t had any regrets since. I was able to do the things I loved. Freshman year I joined the football cheerleading team, and in the spring I was in the spring theater production. My following sophomore year, my friend Danielle and I started a Basketball Cheerleading team. Therefore, I think it’s important to share my experiences on picking a nursing program and how to go about it for anybody who might be trying to do the same.
The New Program
If you’ve heard anything about the nursing program, you might have heard some negative opinions about the change of the new program. In 2012, Utica’s Nursing Program switched to a t 2+2 program. This just means that our freshman and sophomore year we take our liberal arts core and major related courses, then starting the beginning our junior year we take our first nursing classes.

My class is the first group to go through this change. With all new changes, challenges arise. It was a little bit of bummer at first to find out I had to wait two years to start my nursing core verses just a year like the old program. However, now that I’m in my junior year I see how much easier it makes my life.

The 2+2 program allows us to get our core out of the way so we can just solely focus on our Nursing classes. If you’re someone who struggles with math like me, it’s a relief to know that I don’t have to take statistics along with a challenging nursing course like Medical-Surgical Nursing. The greatest benefit of the 2+2 program is the ability to fully dedicate yourself to nursing classes without worrying about other core or major related courses.
What UC’s Nursing Program is like?                                                                                                         Just like with all other programs at UC, being in the Nursing Program here is great because of the small class size. I went to private school for High School and graduated with 83 people. I knew all my classmates by first and last name, and I knew my teachers and they knew me. This is something I knew I didn’t want to give up in college. In the nursing program here at UC you really get that one on one attention from your professors. They know you and you know them. Same goes for my classmates. It is very family like which is something I really admire.

In addition to the small classes, we have a beautiful state of the art Nursing lab which is also very hard to find in other school’s nursing program. I remember one particular school I visited, and their lab was only slightly bigger than my bedroom at home (which is not very big). UC’s lab is built just like an actual medical floor unit. We have a classroom with doctor exam tables that are fully equipped, and then on the other side we have our hospital style beds with our mannequins and a nurse’s station. We also have a fully operating simulation room with a sim man.

Another thing I really like about the program is our availability to go to multiple hospitals and facilities for clinical. Just this semester along I’ve done a clinical at St.Luke’s, Masonic Home, and Crouse Hospital in Syracuse. If I was to attend a Nursing school with an affiliated hospital, your pretty much bound and obligated to do your clinicals with that hospital. Being able to do multiple clinicals with different hospitals really gives you an idea of what you might want to do, what type of setting you’d like to work in, and all the many opportunities in nursing that are out there.

Before listening to any rumors you’ve heard, take the time to really look in to UC’s Nursing program. Picking a school is something to take seriously. You have to really do your research and pick wisely to find what you want in a program. In terms of state of the art and innovation, UC’s program takes the cake. We have a beautiful lab, have multiple sim man’s and mannequins to practice on, have a great faculty, and a great community. If you’re thinking of coming to UC for nursing or switching majors to nursing, this is the place you want to be.

Freshman Me vs. Senior Me

Apr 16, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

As April flies by, and graduation approaches, I have found myself often thinking about how much I have grown over the last four years. My time at Utica College was everything I could have dreamed of and more, and I definitely had no idea the ride I was in for when I stepped on campus for the first time several years ago! There are definitely some big differences between who I am today and who I was when I started at UC. Let us reflect on some of those changes:

  • FRESHMAN ME: Woke up an hour ahead of class so that I could fix my hair, pick out a cute outfit, and apply makeup. Even at 8:30 AM classes, I was picture-ready.
  • SENIOR ME: I work out regularly, so I no longer find it worth my time to do my hair since I know I’ll be sweating in it and then washing it again later in the day. I try to wear jeans most days so that I know whatever shirt I wear will probably match it. Please no photos, you may break your camera. I am in class to learn and I swear my brain works more efficiently when I am comfortable.


  • FRESHMAN ME: Afraid to go anywhere alone, including but not limited to the gym, the caf, or any event on campus.
  • SENIOR ME: No longer intimidated by the athletes at the gym, as I think they are aware of the dynamic between us (I stay away from the 50 lb weights and they are polite while I struggle through my workouts that are kindergarten versions of their daily routines). And now, I don’t mind going to events alone, because that means it’s an opportunity to make friends while I’m there!


  • FRESHMAN ME: As a commuter, I felt like I didn’t know my way around campus well at all. Even though it’s a very small campus, I often felt lost and would go straight home after classes instead of sticking around to go to events or hang out in the lounges.
  • SENIOR ME: Becoming a residential student really changed my perspective of the school. As I became more involved on campus, it just made sense to transition to becoming a resident, as I was practically living here anyway with the amount of time I spent here! I know this campus like the back of my hand (not including last week when I discovered a new freckle on the back of my hand).


  • FRESHMAN ME: Struggled with my newfound independence. I had classes, a part-time job, social events, family and friends, and extracurriculars on my plate. Juggling everything was definitely a challenge!
  • SENIOR ME: I have learned a very important term throughout my four years: BALANCE. It’s still a challenge some days, but I am much better at handling life now. Both stress and time management are skills that every college student should master!


  • FRESHMAN ME: ALWAYS made class a priority, emailed professors whenever I would have to miss class, attended office hours, studied hard, raised my hand in class often, and finished papers early so I would have plenty of time to do revisions.
  • SENIOR ME: Still the same! Maybe I don’t finish my papers quite as early as I did freshman year, but I still make academics my top priority. After all, I’m here because I genuinely want to learn as much as I can! Being driven throughout my college career has helped me be successful and paved my path to attending grad school next year. It is well worth it to always do your best!

Biology club trip!

Apr 15, 2015 | Author: Cynthia Chuni

Hey guys! So you won’t believe where i got to go this weekend… Boston! The biology club on campus hosted a completely free UC trip! Being a biology major or even a member of the club wasn’t necessary to attend. Many of my friends had decided to go and invited me as well, It was so much fun to spend a Sunday in Boston with friends.

The trip started extremely early.. at 4:00am we left campus on a coach bus for our four hour ride to Boston. After a couple of stops and a few hours of sleeping we finally reached our destination and actually got there an hour or so ahead of schedule. The bus dropped us off in front of the New England Aquarium where we received free entrance thanks to student senate and the biology club at UC. There were so many cool exhibits and animals to check out! The most interesting thing by far was that the aquarium had a humongous tank that was the length of three or fours floors! It was in a tube like shape that was in the center of the complex. It was filled with turtles, fishes, and rocks. Aside from this there were sea lions, jelly fish, snakes, and so much more! After a short visit to the gift shop it was off to the next stop.

For the other half of the day we walked about 10 minutes to the mall. This mall however wasn’t a regular mall, it was outdoors filled with outlets, bodegas and restaurants. The food was amazing! inside one of the three main buildings you could find a variety of food from sushi to italian to mexican food… lunch was the best part. Another cool thing about this area was that there was a bunch of street performers, very funny and really entertaining! If you haven’t already check my twitter for a quick clip of the performance! After shopping, walking in the beautiful weather, and eating it was time to head back to UC.

Since me and my friends were early and since the Aquarium was located right along the Boston harbor we decided it was an amazing time to go to the docks and see the beautiful water! It was an amazing view to end a incredible day. Definitely wouldn’t miss out on this trip next year! Can’t wait to see what other trips clubs will have to offer. Until next time guys!


Here are just a couple of pictures from the trip.

This turtle was inside the big tank that I mentioned

This turtle was inside the big tank that I mentioned

Nemo Jelly Fish

Spring Clean Your Life! Here’s the Secret:

Apr 9, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

I love Spring time up here in CNY.  Yes, I know that we’re STILL trying to kick Old Man Winter to the curb, but eventually that will take care of itself!

Spring is by far my favorite season. I love to watch the trees bud and flowers bloom. I love to hear the beautiful birds happily chirping and singing in the morning light. (I know what you’re thinking, it’s like a scene straight out of a Disney movie.) It’s a season of new life, rebirth, hope and restoration.

One of my favorite things to do during this time is spring clean. No, I don’t mean walking around my house carrying a dust mop and a vacuum (although necessary, it certainly IS NOT fun!)  I’m talking about the concept of spring cleaning my life. 

What do I mean? Well, as I’ve mentioned above, I look at Spring as a season of growth. After being stuck in the same mindset all winter, I’m ready for some change!

created by me

created by me

So….how can you begin to spring clean your life? The secret is simple: LET GO.

Imagine that you’re holding onto a million balloons. Each balloon represents every emotion you feel, every problem you faced or any regrets you may have. Eventually, they become too heavy to keep carrying around. So, here’s the thing: let them go. Release them. Take all the garbage from the cold, dark, stagnant winter and throw it away.

  • Spring Clean every little thing that has been weighing you down.
  • Spring Clean the hurts and disappointments.
  • Spring Clean past mistakes or regrets.
  • Spring Clean negativity and expectations.
  • Spring clean the toxic people in your life.

Sounds easy right? Sounds like a simple concept….but, it’s not. It takes a lot of strength and determination to not fall back into old habits! But, you’ll get there.

Spring is a season of new hopes, dreams, goals and life. So don’t cling to the person you were in yesterday, last week, last month, or even last year. Shed old mindsets. Dump old habits. Make way for a new beginning, and allow yourself to gently grow.

W.I.N.D Week !

Apr 8, 2015 | Author: Jayson Bretton

“We are the Women In a New Direction”

 The beautiful ladies of Women In a New Direction (W.I.N.D) had a great week full of different events leading up to their annual “All Girls Rock Gala/ Banquet” this past Saturday. Their events consisted of candy apple dip inside the cafe, where they had served caramel dipped apples to UC students. Also a fashion show in Strebel Lounge, where they showed examples of what a person should and should not wear to certain occasions. For example they explained what a person wouldn’t normally wear on a first date and then they had people come up and show what should be worn. The last event they had before their gala was their annual Mr. UC pageant. This was a chance for some men of the Utica College campus to showcase what they got. Like any other pageant, there was a variety of different categories ending with two questions. Casual, beach wear, sport attire, professional attire and a talent. Six guys ended up being in the show, including me. This was a last-minute decision for me to be in the show and strangely enough I ended up being the winner. I had no intention of winning the whole thing so I was surprised to hear my name. Second place went to Adonai McCormack (junior) and third place to Aaron Jackson (sophomore).


W.I.N.D taking the stage after Mr. UC

Finally, it was time for their final event of the week, their annual “All Girls Rock Gala/ Banquet”. This was held in the library concourse and it was  a chance for UC to recognize some woman on our campus. They were given awards like woman of the year, beauty and brains, and most dedicated. A guest speaker called “Pinky” had come up and spoke about how one should brand their self in life. She had such an empowering voice and she made good points that will be life lessons for everyone. Overall the Woman of a New Direction hosted a great banquet and it was a great way to end their W.I.N.D Week.


Some of W.I.N.D & B.O.N.D secretary Gregory Spears taking a selfie

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Well, that’s all for this weeks blog, please continue reading my blogs and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jayson_UC, where I am always tweeting about stuff going on around campus.

Till next time,


10 Cheap Games to Play on the Quad

Apr 8, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

The weather is getting nice and that means QUAD DAYS!!!!! Here are some fun and cheap games you can get for indoor and outdoor use!

1. Cards Against Humanity: Best card game ever… I cried multiple times from laughing so hard! It is great to play inside and it will be even better with a crowd in the hot sun on the quad!

2. Kan Jam: An awesome game which involves a team of two competing for points by throwing a frisbee into “Kan’s” (a plastic circle that resembles a garbage can.

3. Good ole game of catch! Get a cheap baseball/softball and glove from Walmart and play catch with your friends. I love playing catch, even though I am horrible!

4. Football: get a football and play with your friends!

5. Kickball: Get a $5 rubber ball from Five Below and get a kickball game going!

6. Wiffle Ball: You can also get a $5 Wiffle Ball set at Five Below! So much fun, especially for those who may not feel comfortable with their baseball/softball skills!

7. Uno: get a fun game of Uno going! Over Spring Break my boyfriend and I were playing with my brother and his girlfriend when it was rainy and we had a blast!

8. Twister: this game is even better now than it was years ago! Try it with your friends!

9. Capture the Flag: All you need is two old shirts and friends ready to play! This campus is awesome for it and a lot of people love it!

10. Poker: I have never really mastered this game, but I know a lot of people who do!

Upcoming Events I am SUPER Pumped for!

Apr 8, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

Hey everyone! With the nice weather coming out, the campus will soon be more alive than ever with activity! Here is a list of events that I am SUPER PUMPED for!!!!!!!!


4/19 Gay-Straight Alliance will be having their Annual Drag Show! Professional Kings and Queens will be performing and it is FREE for UC students! This show really is amazing and its also inspirational to see how people embrace themselves!

Moose Madness Week:

4/20 School Spirit Day, Wear blue & orange! and Campus Scavenger Hunt! I am so excited to show my Orange and Blue! I will definitely win!

4/21 Moose Madness Trivia Night, Pub 5pm  Look out, my team will be unstoppable!

4/22 Arcade games and crafts in the pub 12-4 and Sailesh Hypnosis @ 7pm

4/23 The Great Regurgitater- he swallows goldfish and brings them back! 8pm

4/24 UC Student Showcase pub

4/25 Inflatables in Res Quad 12-4, BBQ in lounge

4/25 FREE CONCERT to UC Students to see the X Ambassador ft: Royal Tongues at 4:30

4/26 One of my favorite walks! March to End Alzheimer’s presented by the Alzheimer’s Association, you can join a team or make one by going to I will be walking with the Utica College Student Occupational Therapy organization!

You can find out more about whats going on campus by checking out the UCPB calendar! At:





Be The Change!

Apr 7, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Student Senate applications have been emailed out to the entire campus…so fill it out! Being a part of Student Senate is such a rewarding experience, and I strongly recommend everyone get involved. (Student Senate meets every other Wednesday at 3:00p in Bell Conference room.)

(After senate is a great time to take pictures, because everyone is dressed to impress!)

(After senate is a great time to take pictures, because everyone is dressed to impress!)

If filling out an application and being elected seems daunting, never fear! It’s not! The elections committee has streamlined the process and the only large piece to the application is 250 words on why you want the position you’re applying for. That’s relatively simple when compared to other application processes…

(Just some members of senate at a full body meeting. Shout out to Dean Varga!)

(Just some members of senate at a full body meeting. Shout out to Dean Varga!)

Honestly, being a part of Student Senate makes you feel a bit like you’re working “behind the scenes.” Whenever faculty or staff need student opinion, they head to student senate. All orgs have to be recognized by the full senate before they can be considered an actual organization on the Utica College campus. Any time an organization requests funding they first meet before the finance committee (which is an extension of senate) and then the full body senate! Student Senate helps to make things happen, and you can be a part of that!

I’ve been involved with senate since I was a sophomore. Now I am currently the Junior Class Treasurer. I love getting dressed up every other week and attending meetings. It feels I am actually helping Utica College to function as a collegiate institution, and hopefully making it just a little bit of a better place.

There are several different positions you can run for, go and check the application out!

(The full-body senate supporting one of our international senators last semester.)

(The full-body senate supporting one of our international senators last semester.)